Julius Malema made waves again on his second day in Parliament. The EFF's overall-clad commander in chief was booted out of the National Council of Provinces on Thursday after refusing to back down when called on to withdraw a comment made during his speech at the State of the Nation debate on Wednesday.
Malema had on Wednesday said that "The ANC government massacred the people at Marikana". Justice Minister Jeff Radebe took issue with this and called a point of order, which NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise said she would rule on later. On Thursday, Modise ruled that Malema's statements had been unparliamentary.
"The staments made by Honourable Malema suggests that the government which is made up of members of this house delberately decide to massacre the people of Marikana. This does not only impute improper motives to the members of the house but it also accuses them of murder," she said.
Modise requested that Malema withdraw the statement but he refused.
"When police reduce crime you come here and say the ANC has reduced crime, and when police kill people you don't want us to come here and say the ANC government has killed people. That is inconsistent honourable chair," he said.
After Malema refused a second request to withdraw the comment, Modise asked him to leave the house. "No problem," replied a nonchalant Malema before leading a walkout of the EFF.
As they left, EFF MPs shouted comments like "You were the premier that time Thandi!" and "You were the premier when people died."
Modise was the premier of the North West when the shootings at Marikana occurred in 2012.
In a statement on the incident, the ANC said Malema's comments had been disingenuous and misleading and that South Africans had been unanimous in condemning the incidents at Marikana.
"The ANC is of the view that members of parliament must act in an honest and respectable manner and not conduct themselves in a manner that undermines the integrity of the house," the party said.
After only two days in Parliament, Malema appears to be developing something of a following for his bluntness and his flair for the dramatic.